17 Foods to Never Feed Your Kids if You Love Them

Part of your responsibility as a parent is to ensure that your children are getting the right nutrition for their bodies to grow and develop properly. You should also keep them away from unhealthy foods that can damage their health. Here are 17 foods you should never feed your kids if you love them.

Hot Dogs

With their cylindrical shape and size, hot dogs are a choking danger for kids. A better choice is finely chopping cooked chicken or turkey into manageable pieces that your child can easily swallow without the risk of obstruction. This is an ideal way to ensure the safety of your little one while still giving them food they’ll enjoy.

Popcorn

The hulls of popcorn can be a choking hazard for kids. Consider air-popping the popcorn and removing any unpopped kernels before giving it to your children. If you want to use microwaved popcorn, buy one that is labeled “low fat” or “no salt added.” These brands usually have fewer hulls which makes them safer for your child.

Additionally, you should never give popcorn to children under three years old as it can be dangerous in their small mouths.

Raw Honey

To ensure the health and safety of your little ones, use pasteurized varieties of honey instead of unpasteurized ones. Fresh and unprocessed honey can contain botulism spores that are hazardous for children younger than one-year-old.

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Raw Nuts

Struggling to breathe, gasping for air, and choking is never a pleasant experience. Raw nuts can present a choking hazard to younger children, so they should not be served in their natural form. Grind any nut you wish to give your little one into nut butter or flour.

Fried Foods

Fried chicken, fries, chips, and other fried foods are best served to older children. They may present a choking hazard for younger kids and also contain unhealthy amounts of fat. You should always cook meals that are low in fat and full of nutrients for your little ones.

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Energy Drinks

Safeguard your children’s health and maintain their balanced energy levels by keeping them away from energy drinks. These beverages are loaded with caffeine and other stimulants that are detrimental to the development of young minds and bodies. Encourage your kids to drink plenty of water, milk, or freshly made fruit juices instead.

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Gummy Vitamins

For your children’s health and well-being, natural vitamins or supplements in pills are a much better choice than gummy vitamins. Sure, they may look like candy, but behind that appearance lies large amounts of sugar and preservatives, which can damage their health.

Processed Meats

Lean cuts of meat are significantly healthier than processed varieties like hot dogs and bacon. Refined meats contain high sodium, fat, and harmful preservatives that can harm your child’s well-being. It is best to steer clear of processed meats whenever possible to safeguard their health.

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Artificial Sweeteners

When making food more appetizing for your child, be mindful of their digestive health. Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the balance in the stomach, leading to tummy aches and other digestion issues. Natural alternatives like honey or agave nectar are much better options; they also help preserve internal balance.

Sugary Drinks

Soda and other sugary drinks are often marketed as an easy way to provide a boost of energy for your child. But too much sugar can actually lead to fatigue, cavities, and weight gain. Choose water, low-fat milk, or natural fruit juices for their hydration needs.

High-Sodium Foods

Consuming high levels of sodium can have negative effects on the cardiovascular system, which is why it’s important to check food labels for sodium content. Especially with processed foods, watch out for high-sodium additives like monosodium glutamate (MSG), disodium guanylate (DSG) and potassium chloride. Whenever possible, opt for fresh produce rather than processed items.

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Stale Foods

Leftovers should be eaten within a few days of cooking, as stale food can make your child feel sluggish and uninterested in eating. If you don’t think your child will finish their meal right away, try freezing the leftovers for future use.  Additionally, make sure to always refrigerate perishable items and throw out anything that has been kept at room temperature for a few hours.

Unpasteurized Cheese

Pasteurized cheese is safer for kids whose immune systems are still developing. Be extra careful and take the time to read a product’s label when you shop for your child. If it has been pasteurized, you can rest assured that they are not at risk of foodborne illnesses.

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Raw Eggs

Don’t give your kids raw eggs or foods that contain raw eggs. Salmonella is a bacteria commonly found in raw eggs, which can cause illness and even death if left untreated. Cook all food containing eggs thoroughly before serving it to your little one.

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Refined Grains

Refined grains are brimming with unhealthy sugars and carbohydrates that may be detrimental to your little one’s health, so it is best to limit their intake. Instead of refined grains, choose whole grains containing essential nutrients for optimal growth and development.

Trans Fat

Avoid giving your kids foods containing trans fat and other unhealthy fats, as they may increase their risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Check labels for “hydrogenated” ingredients that signal the presence of trans fat, and prefer healthier monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats instead.

Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables

Properly wash all fruits and vegetables before serving them to children, as they may contain dirt, bacteria, and other contaminants. Rinse thoroughly with water and scrub them with a vegetable brush before preparing meals.

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